The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

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(screenplay), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Walter
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Tim McIntire ...
Richard Ward ...
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Linda Haynes ...
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Storyline

When the new warden comes in disguised as an inmate, he sees firsthand all the corruption and scams the guards and prison officials are running. When he reveals himself and starts to implement reforms to stop the corruption, the local business community, who had been benefiting from the scams, fights back, and the corrupt prison system starts making political trouble for the new warden. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man against a cruel system. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Grades do Inferno  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$37,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The warden impersonating a prisoner story element was fictionalized and was not derived from Thomas O. Murton's experiences. It has been suggested though that this plot device was inspired by Sing Sing Prison Warden Thomas Mott Osborne who in 1913 under an assumed name had had himself committed to New York State's Auburn State Penitentiary. See more »

Goofs

Yaphet Kotto looks through the 1/3 open blinds and watches Redford test the electric 'torture' box on himself.... But immediately before & after, when he's in the office talking w/ Redford, the blinds on both sides of the door are totally closed. See more »

Quotes

Henry Brubaker: Hey. Can we talk?
Walter: Who the fuck are you? I want the man!
Henry Brubaker: I am. I am the man. I'm the new warden here. My name's Henry Brubaker.
Walter: [throws Bullen and advances on Brubaker] Man, don't be fucking with my head. 'New warden' my ass!
Henry Brubaker: It's true - I swear it.
Walter: Then how come you look like a scumbag?
Henry Brubaker: 'Cause I'm fooling those guys out there.
See more »

Connections

References The Wombles (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

All for the Love of Sunshine
(uncredited)
Written by Mike Curb, Harley Hatcher and Lalo Schifrin
Performed by Hank Williams Jr.
Heard when the steer is dropped off at the diner
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User Reviews

 
The best prison picture ever
16 June 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Though Shawshank Redemption has gotten the critical raves and the box office receipts that could make it the best prison story ever filmed, my personal choice for the best film ever done about the penal system is Brubaker.

Based on the true life experiences of Thomas Murton, the co-author of the book the film is based on, Brubaker captures the realities of prison life, the complexities of trying to "reform" the system without sacrificing one iota of entertainment.

Robert Redford leads a great ensemble cast in this film. The people here are real, dealing with complex issues for which there are no simple answers. The corruption of the penal system runs deep and helped in part by the prisoners themselves who don't want to see too much change at once or have a vested interest in seeing things run just as they are. Yaphetto Kotto and Tim McIntire are two such prison trustees, both of them showing very different reasons why they don't like some or all of what Redford is doing as warden.

Among the supporting cast, I'd like to single out David Keith who was the best as the prisoner whose life Brubaker saves and ultimately becomes his biggest booster in the joint. A really outstanding job by David Keith as this simple country kid who just got caught up in "the system."

Rare you can say a film is informative as well as entertaining, but Brubaker definitely fits in both categories.


43 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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